Thursday, October 04, 2007

amidst the talk and hype of development, growth, progress, gdp increase, etc for one section of indians - the rich section - the government of india last year implemented national rural employment guarantee act (nrega).

as the name specifies the idea is to give mandatory employment to rural poor so that constructive village level works can be done and the workers given money for their work. the idea is a win win since the village level work (say road laying or water shed development, etc) gets done and the village level people also gets compensated.

the idea is obviously to give income for the rural poor so that they can use the money for food, schooling, etc.

but india being india, it made sure this nrega does not blossom well to benefit the poor sections. hindu businessline has a report on nrega progress in orissa. to say the least, it is shocking to read. a scheme that can benefit one of the poorest and perhaps the most environmentally abused state has virtually being cut off from nrega benefits by massive corruption and negligence.

orissa chief minister will talk grandly about posco, about kalinganagar steel factory, about dhamra port, etc - all fake projects benefiting multinationals and export markets like china at the cost of people living locally and huge environmental disaster -, but he nor his administration will utter a single word on the fraud and disaster that is happening in a vital scheme called nrega.

what will mahatma do when he sees such blatant corruption and negligence on part of elected officials who go begging to multinationals to come and virtually mine each inch of the state. for sure he wont call this development.(rural poor of orissa. hindu businessline calls it appropriately as "Widespread hunger, poverty and deprivation in Orissa’s Bolangir district are demeaning and dehumanising". fake development is priority of the government rather than sustainable programs and inclusive development)


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